UW Parkside competed at the D2 Super Region V this past saturday. The top 3 from each weight class will advance to the National Tournament in Iowa this year. If you win your semifinal match you’re in. If you win the wrestlebacks and take third your in.
Parkside entered the tournament with 6 ranked wrestlers, #7 Corrigan, #4 Henschel, #6 Spuhler, #10 Durocher, #1 Gantz and #7 Worachek. Also, Corrigan, Henschel, Durocher, Gantz and Worachek were named to the NSIC All Conference team. Last year Parkside qualified 4 to the national tournament. Two of whom were seniors, but returning was All Americans Shane Gantz and Reece Worachek.
In one of the toughest regions in the country things started off on a high note as Head Coach Nick Becker was voted as the 2023 National Wrestling Coaches Association Division 2 Super Region V Coach of the Year. Not bad for only his second year.
From there things continued to get better. On Saturday 10 Rangers competed to become national qualifiers. Of the 10 starters 1 is a Senior, 5 are Sophomores and 4 are Freshman. A very young and talented squad. Parkside finished the day with 5 National Qualifiers. Now let me break it down a little more for you.
Of the 5 wrestlers who made the semifinals all 5 then made the finals. At 125 true freshman Shane Corrigan again took out returning National Qualifier and round of 12 finisher last year Paxton Creese by a score of 5-3.
At 141 the best WIwretle producer in the game Cayden Henschel won a tough 5-3 decision. Last year Henshel was 0-2 at the regional qualifier and this year lets just say there were no marks in the loss column.
At 149 Jalen Spuhler won a rubber match against Turnquist of Northern State in TB 3-2. A huge overtime win for Spuhler. He had lost to Turnquist in their dual early in the season and then beat him the next day at an Open. He also beat 1 seed Bianchini in their dual meet this season, but Spuhler was still seeded 3rd. Don’t ask me how because it makes zero sense, but that was the case.
At 165 Team Captain Shane Gantz gets the 4-1 win in his semifinal match. Gantz remains unbeaten on the season and if you saw his interview from Senior night he is probably grinning ear to ear because this is the part of the season he has been waiting for.
At 184 the other Team Captain Reece Woracek gritted out a 2-0 win to punch his ticket to the finals. All lof these wrestlers would now guarantee themselves a spot at the national tournament regardless of their finals results.
However, things continued to roll for the Rangers as they then won 4 of their 5 finals matches. Corrigan won 8-5 avenging a loss against Rohman from their dual meet earlier this season against Augustana. Henschel picked up an 8-6 decision victory. At 149 Jalen Spuhler lost a tight one to Bianchi 3-4. He did win 12-6 in their dual against St. Cloud earlier this season. At 165 Gantz does Gantz things and wins 6-1. Then finally at 184 Worachek wins 3-2.
Overall, the team continued to get better and had a strong weekend. I know they wanted more, but from the outside as fans in Wisconsin we should recognize how much better the team is getting year after year. Let me again remind you that of the 10 starters only 1 is a Senior (Gantz) and the other 9 are all underclassmen and only 1 of those underclassmen used their redshirt.
Of the others who did not qualify 2 of them placed. 133 pound Freshman Troy Dolphin finished in 5th place with two bonus point victories. At 157 Ben Durocher narrowly missed the national tournament. On the front side Durocher lost in his quarterfinal match to Wisconsin native Devin Bahr in sudden victory 2-4. He then wrestled back to the third place match where he wrestled Faught from Upper Iowa. Durocher won in the dual in sudden victory and once again in their third place match they went to sudden victory where this time Faught was the winner 1-3.
At the end of the day Coach Becker will be taking 5 rangers to Nationals at the Alliant Energy PowerHouse in Ceder Falls Iowa in 2 weeks. High School Team State will be over and it is the weekend between Big Tens and D1 Nationals so all of you Wisconsin fans I expect you to show up. Cedar Falls is a short drive and WISCONSIN Parkside is going to make some noise, literally. Two weeks ago the Rangers had already pre sold just shy of 100 tickets. I hope to see everyone there supporting the Rangers! #PaveYourWay